My 5 Yr Old Son Has Keratis Piliaris (KP) on Face and Upper Arms.

Updated on February 02, 2010
M.C. asks from Coatesville, PA
9 answers

we have tried many lotions and prescriptions with not much success. Wondering if anyone has had success with using a clarisonic brush? It's expensive, but if it works it would be worth it.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I have keritosis piaris on my upper arms. Nothing has ever taken it away completely for me. I do exfoliate daily and use lotion religiously. That seems to help. It did take me a very long time to find a lotion that wouldn't make it worse. Try Aveeno. I've never tried the clarisonic brush but I would think that it would be too harsh. I hope this helps. Good luck!

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answers from Hartford on

Hi M., My 7 year old has it on his face, neck, and arms. Here is what we have found that helps keep it at bay. He never gets during the summer, we think it must be all the sunblock. An other big help is swimming in a pool. Must be the chlorine. He started "breaking out" with it real bad this fall. Within a few weeks of swimming lessons there was a huge difference. I gave up on the lotions and prescriptions when he was 2. We always use a scent-color free detergent.

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answers from Cincinnati on

First to clarify what KP is for anyone who doesn't know......
By Mayo Clinic staff
Keratosis pilaris (ker-uh-TO-sis pil-AIR-is) is a common skin condition that causes rough patches and small, acne-like bumps, usually on the arms and thighs. Though you may not like the sandpaper-like appearance of your skin, keratosis pilaris isn't serious and doesn't have long-term health implications.
Keratosis pilaris results from the buildup of keratin — a hard protein that protects your skin from harmful substances and infection. The keratin forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. Usually many plugs form, causing patches of rough, bumpy skin.
Why keratin builds up is unknown. But it may occur in association with genetic diseases or with other skin conditions, such as ichthyosis vulgaris or atopic dermatitis. Keratosis pilaris also occurs in otherwise healthy people. Dry skin tends to worsen the condition.

As for the clarisonic brush working... I don't know. However, I would be interested in knowing if that would be a good option for us as well. I have KP, but I can keep it under control with moisturizer. For my son however, we haven't been able to figure out what works yet. It unfortunate that treatments for KP can vary so widely from person to person. It makes it so much more difficult. Best of luck to you!



answers from Fort Wayne on

My 6 year old has it too, all over face, arms, and upper thigh area. It's just one of those just have to not fuss over it. If you do, you may create a self consciousness over it. I try to keep lotion on him, but no matter what, he's flared up. I have made an appointment with a dermatologist once a year basically just to see if anything new has come out as a fix for it, and every year she says the same thing...."some people find that certain things work, some people find that nothing works."

I have tried stuff called KP Duty, which if you google it, I'm sure you'd find the website it's from. The bottle is white with purple and has a drawn picture of a girl on it. Anyway, the thing is, it's not FDA approved, but it really does smooth out the skin. I don't use it very much because my son complained of it stinging when I first got it and had used it everyday on him. But, it DID make his skin smoother. I've recently started using it again, maybe once or twice a week, and I do notice a difference, but I'm a little reluctant since I've learned it's not good to try non FDA approved things. I didn't really think about it when I bought it 3 or 4 years ago.


answers from Philadelphia on

do not waist your money. My husband has it. Once, I took him to my dermatologist. As a result, she said that there was not treatment that could get rid of this skin condition. However, the best thing you could do to minimize the appearance of it is by exfoliating with a proper cream and hydrating it with a non-scent skin cream. Additionally, do not rub his skin with a towel after showering him, but pad it with the towel or use a bathrobe. My two year old son has a very light KP on upper arms and face. I do not be to concerned about it. There is no cure for such a skin condition and besides being an aesthetic thing on the skin, it does not itch or bother. My last suggestion is, do not encourage a self- consciousness in your son over this matter that otherwise, may raise self-esteem or confident issues.



answers from San Francisco on

I have KP on my upper arms and my 13 month old son has it on his legs. Our pediatrician gave me some information on it, but mostly echoed the other comments about not making a big deal out of it. I've tried many things over the years and have found that one specific boutique wrinkle cream works for me, but since it has some acids in it I'm not going to try it on my son until he's older. If it really bothers you (or your son) just keep trying different remedies that are safe for kids, which it sounds like you're already doing. Good luck with the brush!


answers from Philadelphia on

Our 11 month old has it. The pediatrician told us it was eczema and didn't even do a scraping or refer us to a dermatologist. And I suppose it's hereditary because my husband has it on his upper arms (and his mother has it too). I also read that a deficiency in vitamin A has been linked, as well as possible food allergies.

I had a hunch it might be fungal and cleared it up using Nystatin (cheap prescription diaper cream!) once or twice during the day and Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Body Creme at night after her bath. I also used a tea tree oil body wash a couple of times a week to hedge my bets about it being a fungal thing to dry it out.

This routine has almost totally cleared her skin. It comes back when we get lazy with treating it, but we just continue using the lotion in between and hit it with Nystatin when it gets bad.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh - and KP isn't fungal. True KP is simply a combo of a lag in the body's ability to slough off dry skin, and "weak" body hair. The hair isn't strong enough to "pop" through the skin like it does elsewhere on the body, gets trapped, and then either gets caught like a miniature ingrown hair (flesh-colored bump) or gets irritated ("white" head). If diaper cream works, great, but I doubt it's true Keratosis Pilaris.



answers from Philadelphia on

Clarisonic brush will not work. KP is a fungal infection, it will not be cleared by exfoliation. If topical products can't get it under control, you may be able to try an oral antifungal (Diflucan). Ask a dermatologist, though.

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